Mark 2:21-22 “No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but the new wine must be put into new bottles.”
Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”
In the midst of the Revolutionary War, the Second Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation on November 15th, 1777. This document, our nation’s first constitution, established the form of our federal government as we fought for and eventually won our independence. Yet, it was far from perfect.
By 1787, it had become clear that major structural changes were needed to create a viable and sustainable federal government. With this in mind, a Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House to revise the flawed construct. As they looked at the changes required, however, they realized that the only real way forward was to start over. In those hot summer months, from May 25thto September 17th, those founders created the United States Constitution. Yes, in 116 days, the world saw an innovation of government unmatched in human history. These men recognized the shortcomings of doing things the way they had always been done, refused to accept a few small fixes to cover up deep flaws, committed to doing something grand, and worked together in spite of their differences.
As we assess our lives and our ministries today, there are some things we can learn from the innovative and cooperative spirit of our founders. While the core doctrines of our faith are unchanging, what are we clinging to from the past unnecessarily that is hindering our ability to make an impact for Christ today?
Are we ignoring the shortcomings of doing things the way they have always been done? Are we accepting a few small fixes to cover up any deep flaws? Have we refused to work together to do something grand because of our differences? Are we trying to sew a piece of new cloth on an old garment? Are we putting new wine into old bottles?
PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD EMBRACE AN INNOVATIVE AND COOPERATIVE SPIRIT. In less than four months, our founders scrapped the government that enabled victory in the Revolutionary War in order to create something that was magnificent and lasting. What can we do that is magnificent and lasting in our lives or in our ministries?